Libations for the Land

“I love to think of nature as unlimited broadcasting stations, through which God speaks to us every day, every hour.” —George Washington Carver, Tuskegee University, 1930 In my early 20s, I apprenticed myself to the The Queen Mothers of Kroboland in Ghana with the hope of understanding more about my cultural heritage. Early one morning, I arrived at the compound …

Soil respiration is stimulated by climate warming: Temporal changes in global soil respiration since 1987

A new study on soil respiration (the release of carbon from soil) finds that rates increased between 1987 and 1999, but remained unchanged between 2000 and 2016. Soil respiration is “stimulated by climate warming”, but according to the paper, the “magnitude and dynamics of such stimulations” is still highly uncertain. The steady rate of soil respiration from the year 2000 …

Patterns in the soil created by competing life-forms can reveal whether an ecosystem is thriving or on the verge of collapse.

A Mathematician Who Decodes the Patterns Stamped Out by Life: Corina Tarnita deciphers bizarre patterns in the soil created by competing life-forms. She’s found that they can reveal whether an ecosystem is thriving or on the verge of collapse. Quanta Magazine by Joshua Sokol Read when you’ve got time to spare. Corina Tarnita decoded mysterious “fairy circle” patterns in the …

Soil is home to more than 25% of the world’s biological diversity, and more than 40% of living organisms in terrestrial ecosystems are connected to soils during their life cycle.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/04/few-things-matter-more-humans-un-report-says-we-must-protect-and-restore The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations  published a new report (pdf) Friday on “The State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity” in anticipation of World Soil Day this weekend. “Policies that minimize soil degradation and protect soil biodiversity should be a component of biodiversity protection at all levels.”—FAO “Soil biodiversity and sustainable soil management is a prerequisite for …

Study finds renewable energy has created 6,300 jobs and generates $388.6 million a year in economic activity in eastern rural Colorado, which has 55% of the state’s solar arrays

By Wayne Heilman wayneh@gazette.com Colorado Springs Gazette, Jul 28, 2020 Updated Aug 6, 2020 The renewable energy industry has created 6,334 jobs and generates $388.6 million a year in economic activity in eastern Colorado, according to a study released Tuesday by three Colorado advocacy groups. The study from The Western Way, a Denver-based conservative environmental group, was conducted by Littleton-based Development Research Partners. It found $9.4 billion …

Regenerative Agriculture: Good for Soil Health, but Limited Potential to Mitigate Climate Change

Much of the recent limelight for agricultural emissions reductions shines on one option that our report found had limited potential: increasing carbon sequestration in soils through practices broadly referred to as “regenerative agriculture.” …if the world fails to reduce emissions in other sectors like energy and transport, we’ll need to rely ever more heavily on land solutions, exacerbating food and …

How to make compost, also making good soil with cardboard

By JEANETTE MARANTOS LA Times, March 12, 2020 There’s nothing mysterious about making compost. It’s just a mixture of stuff we usually toss — banana peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, shredded newspaper, fallen leaves, grass clippings … and that bag of forgotten spinach that started dissolving in the fridge. The magic is what this motley mix becomes after just two or three …

Microbiome renaissance

Broccoli Is Dying. Corn Is Toxic. Long Live Microbiomes! Let’s move past the green and gene revolutions to a microbiome renaissance. By Louise Elizabeth Maher-Johnson, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson on August 20, 2019 in Scientific American. As food writer Mark Bittman recently remarked, since food is defined as “a substance that provides nutrition and promotes growth” and poison is “a substance that promotes illness,” then “much of …

IPCC’s land report shows the problem with farming based around oil, not soil

August 8, 2019, Anna KrzywoszynskaResearch Fellow and Associate Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food, University of Sheffield The word “climate” makes most of us look up to the sky – however, the IPCC’s new special report on climate change and land should make us all look under our feet. Land, the report shows, is intimately linked to the climate. Changes in …

Parity Plus: The Green New Deal and Agriculture

Over 100,000 people have signed the petition to show support of a Green New Deal that adheres to the following principles: 4 Key Policy Priorities and Principles Fair prices for farmers, ranchers and fishers, anti-trust measures that help reverse food sector consolidation, and healthy working conditions with family-sustaining living wages for workers; Carbon reduction, sequestration, and climate resilience; Diversified, resilient …